Community Chorus

A Besere Velt – A Better World – is proud to be a “voice” for justice. This 70-member intergenerational community chorus weaves the heartache and irrepressible idealism of Yiddish folk music into a vision of justice and humanity for the 21st century. From haunting melodies to workers’ anthems, the songs come alive with multi-layered harmonies.

The repertoire of A Besere Velt grew out of the shtetls, the sweatshops and union meetings, the camps and ghettos. These folk songs make the richness of the Eastern European immigrant experience accessible to a generation of non-Yiddish speakers. They contain the sounds of the history, the culture and the progressive values that have influenced generations.


See more chorus videos.

Watch the 2021 virtual concert, Singing for A Better World, here.

About A Besere Velt:

Founded in 1997, A Besere Velt has performed throughout New England and New York, from conferences to picket lines, from temples to interfaith rallies, from universities to senior centers, and released its debut CD in 2006. 

In 2019, ABV collaborated with world-renowned vocalist Anthony Russell on "Diasporas & Dreams", a show that wove diasporas and the heartbreak of exiles past and present, together with love and struggle and dreams of a better world. 

In 2016, ABV and The Klezmatics transported their audience of over 1,000 people on a musical and multi-cultural adventure at their concert "Tevye's Daughters: Journeys to A Better World".

How to Join:

If you enjoy singing in a spirited and harmonious muti-generational 70-person chorus, A Besere Velt is a great place to give it a try!

We have successfully adapted to hybrid rehearsals, which has allowed both in-person and remote access participation. In order to provide the larger space for rehearsals at TBZ, our expenses have increased. As always, we encourage membership in BWC (click for Membership)  and have lower rates for BWC members, recognize multiple members from a single family, and offer a special young adult rate. 


In a time of so much economic uncertainty, we are committed to making participation accessible to everyone. Please don't let cost be a barrier to joining. If you can't afford the listed dues, contact the ABV treasurer, Sarah Axelrod ( or 617-277-5612). And for those who can afford to make an additional donation, that will certainly help both ABV and BWC.


BWC Member Rate:

  • First Adult - $270
  • Second Adult** - $230
  • Young Adult (<35) - $90

Non-Member Rate: 

  • First Adult - $365
  • Second Adult - $330
  • Young Adult (<35) - $120

Current members can pay dues here

For more information, or to join, contact Peter Rhodes at



For other information, please visit the chorus members resource page.

To order CDs, send $18 per CD plus $3 for mailing costs (with $1 postage for each additional CD) to 6 Webster St. – or stop by the office anytime between 9 AM and 5 PM, Monday-Friday (please call ahead just in case).

Book A Besere Velt:
Contact for more information.

Contact Bob Follansbee ( for more information.


A Besere Velt Yiddish Chorus
Derek David, Director

Derek David (b.1985) is a composer, conductor, and music educator based in Boston, Massachusetts. As a composer, his dramatic and vibrant chamber music has been performed in both Europe and the United States and has received great recognition from audiences and critics alike.  Derek's String Quartet (2011) has been met with international praise and repeated performances throughout the United States. It was described by Sabino Pena of France's as "a true musical jewel of the 21st Century." The quartet was awarded both the EAMA Nadia Boulanger Institute Prize and the Morton Gould ASCAP Award in 2011, as well as first place in the American Prize in 2015. Additionally, he is the current recipient of the 2018 SFCM Hoefer Prize for his body of work from over the past 10 years. As a conductor, Derek was the conductor of the Full Circle Opera Project for their 2003-2004 season and conducted the finale to Puccini's Turandot in Los Angeles Walt Disney Concert Hall. As a choir conductor, he conducted the men's and women's choirs at the Walden School from 2015-2017.

Dr. David holds a DMA from the New England Conservatory of Music and is currently a teaching fellow at Harvard University, where he is a five-time recipient of the Harvard University Distinction in Teaching Award. Outside of composition and conducting, his musical areas of interest extend to medieval theory and musicology, the Beatles, and Jewish Music.

For more information please visit